Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Musical A.D.D.

Yes, yes I know I haven't blogged in a long time. I knew it was going to happen. It happens to me every time I try to keep a journal. I get excited about writing and I do well for a few weeks and then I get too behind and I stop. It's a vicious cycle. Anyway, I'm back now. I found that I miss writing down my feelings. I have so much on my mind lately and I'm sure Morgan is getting tired of me repeating myself.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about myself as a musician. I started playing the violin in 4th grade. I took lessons and really enjoyed it. I was also taking piano lessons. Then in 7th grade, I started developing what I like to call Musical ADD. I would sit in orchestra, wishing I was playing a different instrument. So in 8th grade I started playing cello as well. I loved playing both and I had so much fun being in two different orchestras. Then I wanted to play the bass. My mom said no because she didn't want to haul it around everywhere.Then in 10th grade I found a flute in our closet that my sister had only used for two weeks once. I asked my friend to show me how to play it. The first time I practiced the flute at home, my dad came in and told me that I should stop. He said I was already playing violin, piano, and cello, and that I didn't need another instrument. I didn't listen to him. I joined the band and kept learning how to play the flute. Then in 11th grade I joined marching band. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. I made amazing friends and learned so much about myself. But I still had ADD. My senior year, I picked up the bari sax. Then I went to college and discovered how little time I had for everything I wanted to do. I played piccolo in marching band and cello in symphony. If not for marching band, there wouldn't have been much to keep me at school. Then I auditioned for the Nauvoo Brass Band and was able to serve as a performing missionary (take that Dad, I can play the flute!). Now I'm at BYU-I majoring in music education with an emphasis in orchestra. I'm playing cello and taking lessons and playing in orchestra.I chose to do cello at school because I thought that's what I could be the most successful at.

The other day I got really frustrated in orchestra. I'm not the best cellist, I know this, but I feel like I should be better. I was wondering if I should never have added all those other instruments and just focused on cello. I could have spent more time on it and been so much better at it. I was wondering whether it would be better to be really good at one thing than to be fairly decent at several things. I thought about it a lot, wondering if I made the right decisions. Then yesterday I played my flute for the first time in a while. That's when I remembered how much I love it. I couldn't tell you what my favorite instrument is to play. I love to play the piano. I love to play the violin. I love to play the flute. I love to play the cello. I love to play the piccolo. I love to play the bass (that's what I'm learning at school right now). Music is my life. I am grateful for every musical opportunity I have had. My life would be so different if I wasn't in marching band. If I never learned to play the flute, I would never have gone to Nauvoo and met my husband. I know I'm not the best cellist and I'm starting to accept that. I will practice and do my best, but I'm never going to be the best. But I have the opportunity to play other instruments, which other people in orchestra don't have. I'm so happy to be in my string methods class where I'm learning how to play bass and viola. A lot of people in my class complain about having to learn a new instrument and say that theirs is so much better. I'm not like that. I LOVE to learn new instruments. It is my passion. I will never be a professional on any of them (I just don't have the time), but  I'm so blessed to have the ability to play so many instruments. It's what makes me happy. Next semester I'm taking the brass methods class. It will be hard, but I know I will enjoy it.

Moral of the story - it's ok that I'm not the best cellist. As long as I do my best and can pass my juries, I will be ok. I'm grateful for my talent that allows me to live my passion. I'm so grateful for my parents, who let me take on new challenges and payed for lessons and instruments. I'm grateful for my many teachers who inspired me and helped me to be a better musician. I'm grateful for the gift of music and the blessings it brings to my life. I love music and I love playing instruments.

P.S. I still have ADD. My current fascination is the harp. I hope I get to play it someday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grover Day 1 (July 27)

We were going to leave for Grover right after we got up the morning, but we discovered the many things to do at my parent’s house. Morgan started watching a movie from their vast collection, and of course he had to finish it. Meanwhile, I rediscovered the joys of their digital piano. Morgan then spent over 20 minutes playing with the various percussion sounds. Then we found the Nintendo 64, so we played that for a while. Needless to say, we didn’t leave right in the morning. We would have stayed longer, but we didn’t want to get to Grover too late.

The drive wasn’t too bad. I always feel bad on long road trips, because I sleep for the majority of them. That’s how I like to pass the time, because when you wake up, you’re much closer than you were before.  It’s fine to do that on a family trip, but when it’s just me and Morgan and I’m sleeping, he has no one to talk to. I tried not to sleep too much because I was supposed to be giving directions. I’ve been to Grover year after year, but I’ve never driven there myself and I never really payed attention (because I was sleeping). We managed to find it all right. I was so excited to be there again and show Morgan the places I used to go while growing up.

When we got there around 4, only my mom was there. Everyone else was coming back from Goblin Valley. We had time to explore a bit and set up our awesome tent (courtesy of Heather, Talysa, and Dan). 



Everyone came back soon after and I was excited to see my adorable nieces. I saw them in May, but Morgan hadn't seen them since April. I love spending time with them, especially Miriam. She's so darn cute!


It was a bit rainy on the way down and it had rained on and off on everyone who was hiking. It didn't rain anymore after we got there, but we got to see the beautiful rainbow. It was a great start to a great trip.





Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Bash (July 26)


I am so behind in blogging, it’s not even funny. I had a lot of trips right in a row and the time I had between them I was doing laundry and getting ready for the next one.  Now I’m done with my summer vacations and I have a few weeks to get ready for school. So I’m going to try to get caught up before I get busy again
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We went down to Utah to go camping with my family. We left a day early to spend time with Morgan’s little sister Bethlyn (Buffy). It was her birthday that day and we wanted to do something for her. We got free passes to Seven Peaks for our wedding so we took Buffy there. We spent a few hours there and left just before the rain started. We had a great time playing around.

I have a few things to say about Seven Peaks. It’s a fun place, but it is ridiculously expensive.  We wouldn’t have gone if Morgan and I didn’t get in for free. We didn’t mind paying the 25 dollars for Buffy because it was her birthday, but it’s way too expensive to just go sometime. The fee for the use of a locker was 6 dollars. Now that’s just ridiculous! At other swimming places, lockers range from a quarter to a dollar. Because I had a season pass, I got two dollars back when I returned the key. Still, 4 dollars is a ridiculous price to pay to rent a locker for a few hours. Also, the tube prices are outrageous. We thought about getting a three person tube so we could all go down a slide together, but it cost 13 dollars to rent. That’s so not fair! About half the water slides require tubes, so tough luck for those who don’t want to spend that kind of money. I don’t even want to know what the food prices were like.

Sorry for the rant. I’m not a huge fan of amusement parks. They charge a huge admission fee and don’t let you bring any food or water so then you’re trapped and you have to buy their expensive food. They are fun places to go, but they sure know how to milk people for money. Plus there are so many people who don’t consider other people that sometimes it’s not even worth the hassle.

I really did have fun though. I loved getting to spend time with my amazing sister-in-law. After we left Seven Peaks, we went and got pizza then went to my parent’s house. We watched the Corpse Bride, then watched Men in Black while playing Balderdash. It was such a fun night and I’m glad we got to spend the day with such an awesome person. I love you Buffy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Again

We just got back from camping with my family in Grover, Utah. I am way too tired after the 8 hour drive back to blog about the trip, so I'll do it later. It sure is good to be home.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Virtual Date

Morgan and I had a tough engagement. I was finishing up the semester at BYU and he was working in Idaho. After we got engaged on conference weekend in October, I only saw him twice before we got married. I went up for Halloween and Thanksgiving and that's it. It was very lonely. 

One day I was at home moping around and Andrew and Nancy took pity on me (or more likely they were sick of my complaining) and decided to take me out for ice cream. They said it would be like a double date. I could text Morgan the whole time and send him pictures on Andrew's phone. I was very excited about this date, although I wish he could have really been there. 


We went to a place called The Golden Spoon. I got cookie dough ice cream of course. We sat down at a table and even had an empty seat for Morgan. I texted Morgan everything we were talking about so he could be involved in the conversation. It was a good way to keep my mind off the separation. I had a lot of fun on my virtual double date with Andrew and Nancy. 



 

I'm so glad that I'm married to Morgan and I get to spend every day with him. I didn't like going weeks at a time without seeing him. 

P.S. This date happened sometime in October. I'm writing about it now because I stumbled across the pictures the other day and remembered how fun it was. 



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Salmon

This past weekend we went up to Salmon. Well, not actually Salmon. The place we went was a few miles farther than the actual city of Salmon, ID. We went to Salmon River High Adventure Base. Morgan worked there in 2007 as a river guide. He really loved it, but couldn’t do it the next few summers. His brother Calvin and his wife Christine work up there now. Calvin asked Morgan to come up for a few days to help out because they had a lot of people there. Morgan was so excited to go. He loves that place so much and he would get to kayak for a few days. I wasn’t too excited because I didn’t know what I’d be doing the whole time. I’ve only kayaked once and I wasn’t very good at it.

The drive up was nice. There are some beautiful places in Idaho. We got up there in the afternoon. The only problem is that there’s no road into the place. It is across the river and you can only get in by the cable car they have or on a boat. That was kind of a shock to me. I’ve never seen a camp like that before. Morgan crossed over on his kayak to go tell Calvin we were there.





Here’s some pictures I took while I was waiting. 




 


Calvin wasn’t there, so we had to wait for him to get back from kayaking down the river. We drove a little further down the road to Shoup. There was a store and a cabin and that was it. We got some ice cream then headed back to wait. When Calvin came, we put our stuff on the trolley and I rode on it (Morgan kayaked over again). The trolley was actually really terrifying. It is operated by a staff member who pulls us along on the cable. It goes right over the river. It was leaning a bit because there was more weight on my side of it. I thought I was going to fall right into the river. It doesn't look very scary from the pictures, but it was. I was too scared to even get a video of me going across; I was hanging on for dear life. 



We crossed over just in time for dinner. After dinner, Morgan, Calvin, and Christine headed down to the river to help teach people to kayak. I didn't know what to do so I sat on the side and took pictures. 






Morgan is so awesome. The only problem with sitting by the river was the mosquitoes. I thought the mosquitoes were bad at Lake Walcott, these were even worse. I put on bug spray several times and they still kept coming. When I couldn't handle it anymore, I decided I would try kayaking. Christine let me borrow her gear and her boat. I paddled around for a bit, but there were too many people in the water. Plus, I didn't want to learn how to roll. I don't really like having my head underwater. I'm not as brave as Morgan. I tried to get a video of him rolling, but I didn't get the camera on in time. He's already underwater when it starts. 
 
video

So I went back to taking pictures.




When it was too dark to kayak anymore, we went up to Calvin and Christine's cabin and hung out the rest of the night. Morgan and Calvin we watching kayaking videos, so Christine and I sat and talked. I haven't gotten to spend much time with her before, so it was really good to be able to get to know her better. 

The next day, I went to help out in the kitchen while Morgan went kayaking. I was nervous about this trip because I didn't think I'd have anything to do. I was glad to have something to do. It may sound boring, cooking all day, but it was so much fun. The people there were awesome. Jen is the head cook. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is a two time breast cancer survivor and she is so kind and optimistic. Elizabeth is an assistant cook. She is married to the assistant director of the camp. She is so funny and nice. I really like her. Rachael is another assistant cook. She is so sweet and wonderful. She is also so creative with food. She even garnished the bowls of mayonnaise and sour cream. I really don't have the words to describe my experience. I spent the day cooking, serving food, and making friends. At the end of the day I was exhausted, but I felt wonderful. It's been a while since I've done a full day's work. I don't have any pictures from this day because Morgan and I were both very busy. 

The next morning, I slept in. I felt kind of guilty. Even though I don't work there, I felt like I should be helping out. I helped make and serve lunch and then it was time for us to leave. Usually when we go on vacations, Morgan is always excited to go home. This time, he didn't want to leave at all. Salmon is very special to him and it was so good for him to be back. He had so much fun and worked so hard, and so did I. Even though I only worked there for a day, and didn't have too much time to get to know people, I felt like I belonged there.  It was such a wonderful vacation in a wonderful place. We are probably going to work up there next year. 





On the way home, there were some mountain goats in the road. They were so close to our car. It was awesome.



We love Salmon and we miss it already! It was a great adventure. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leaving

We are going up to Salmon, ID tomorrow morning. Morgan worked up there a couple summers ago as a river guide. His brother works up there right now and Morgan's going up for the weekend to help out because a huge group is coming. I don't really know what I'm going to be doing. I'm off on another adventure :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Archery

Morgan used to be really into archery. Today we were finally able to buy some arrows so we went out and had some fun. I’ve never shot a bow before but I’ve always wanted to. Morgan showed me all the tricks, then let me try. On my very first shot, I actually hit the target. I was very shocked and happy. I had so much fun shooting arrows. 




I missed the target on this one, but I hit the fence and it stuck.


Morgan looks so good with his bow. 



Our target and arrows.




We spray painted some numbers on the target and shot for points. We shot a few rounds and I actually one once. On our last round, I went first. This time I focused more on aiming. When I shot, I actually hit the middle of the target. I got a bulls eye! I was so shocked I had my mouth open for at least 30 seconds. I can't believe I actually got a bulls eye on my first day of archery! I feel so awesome. 

 

Archery is so much fun. I am definitely going to practice more and hopefully get pretty good. My bow is not as cool as Morgan's (I can't even pull his back all the way). Morgan is so cool. I'm so glad he is into cool things like archery. We had so much fun.






Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jacob

My mom is amazingly spiritual. She always knows what is best for her family. She knew that I needed to be born even though Sarah had just been born. She also knew that our family wasn't complete even though she was done having children. We started doing foster care so we could fill the hole in our family. The whole process was a miracle. I don't know all the details, if you want to know, ask my mom. But when we first met little 4 year old Jacob, it just felt right. He fit in perfectly with our family. We ended up adopting him into our family. I don't remember much about it because I was only 5 or 6, but I do remember the first time we had Jacob at our house. My parents were telling him about our rules and asking him what rules he knew of. He said, "Don't eat yellow snow!" Oh, how I love Jacob! Look how cute he is!


As with every family, we aren't perfect. Jacob and I fought occasionally, but I always loved him. The reason I'm writing this post is because I really miss my little brother. He is currently serving a mission in Peru. It's funny how you never appreciate something until it's gone. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn't spend enough time with Jacob. Growing up, I saw him as a nuisance, the annoying little brother. I never really wanted him to hang out with me and my friends. After I graduated from high school, I started to become good friends with him. I realized what I had been missing out on. I wish I could take back the mean things I said and did. I am so lucky to have him as my brother, really I am. It's a miracle that we found him and adopted him. He is amazing. And how you ever be mad at a face like this?


Jacob is one the most hard working people I know. He is also one of the nicest people I know. Sometimes he doesn't have sensitivity in what he's saying, but he wouldn't intentionally be rude to someone. I loved to play games with him, and I always won. Especially Stratego. I always beat him at that (that's because he never had a strategy, he just put pieces down randomly). I loved playing legos with him. He was much better at building with them than I was and always admired his creativity. In high school, Jacob started developing his artistic talent. I love his paintings. They are so unique and so him. My favorite one is actually his least favorite one. I think he is a great artist. 

The time I started getting closest to Jacob was right before I went on my mission. He was going to leave on his a few months after I did. I thought that I would serve an 18 month mission after, so I didn't expect to see him for 3 years. When you know you're not going to see someone for a while, you start spending more time with them. I never expected to get married while he was gone, but it happened. I emailed him one day and told him I had a boyfriend. He totally freaked out. The next week I told him I was engaged. Poor kid, he probably didn't believe me at first. I wish he could have been at my wedding, but he is where he needs to be. Here's Jacob getting his mission call.


I am so incredibly proud of him. He's always had trouble focusing and I was worried when he was called to a Spanish speaking mission. He really struggled with Spanish in high school. But Jacob is an amazing missionary. He is doing so well. He has had lots of trials, but he is handling them so well. 

Although Jacob may have been annoying sometimes, he is my only little brother and I will be forever grateful for him. I am amazed to see what a wonderful person he has become and I know he's only going to get better. I miss my brother. I love you Jakey-Poo!




Thursday, July 7, 2011

Twin Falls Trip

Yesterday we headed out to Twin Falls for a Hemophilia Clinic. If you didn’t know, Morgan has hemophilia. I’m too tired to explain much, so look it up if you want more info. I will say one thing though, people seem to think that if you have hemophilia, even the tiniest cut could kill you. False. If Morgan were to cut himself shaving, it will bleed longer than normal, but it will eventually stop.  It’s the major cuts and internal bleeding he has to worry about.

Anyway, his appointment was in the morning and we didn’t want to wake up early to drive there, so we left in the afternoon. We stopped at Lake Walcott near Rupert. We got some pizza for dinner and ate it at the lake. After dinner, we walked around the lake. There were not very many people there, so it was perfect. The water was beautiful and the sunset was beautiful. Sadie has so much fun running around and chasing geese. She also chased a rabbit that she didn’t even notice until she was right next to it, but we saw it several feet off. Silly dog.

I was going to bring the camera, but I forgot. Luckily, Morgan remembered to bring it. Unfortunately, the memory card wasn’t in it. So we could only take about 10 pictures.








Unfortunately, we also forgot to bring mosquito repellent. The mosquitoes were everywhere! Sadie was going crazy trying to snatch them with her mouth. When she got bored with the bugs, she sat and stared at the pizza box. That dog is relentless. When she wants something, she doesn’t stop until she gets it.


We slept in the back of the truck. I’ve never slept outside without a tent. It was actually kind of scary. I was scared of every little noise. Also, the mosquitoes decided that the really liked my face. I managed to sleep ok, but Sadie didn’t. She was going crazy with all the noises and bugs. She was up most the night sniffing around.  But, as soon as we left for Twin Falls, she curled up and slept the whole time. She’s just like a child, keeping the parents up during the night and sleeping during the day. 



Well, the clinic wasn't that exciting. It's basically just an annual check-up with his hematologist. I did learn a few new things about hemophilia though, which is good. After we were done, we drove home (and got a little lost). It was a short trip, but very fun. Sometimes it's good to get away for a while and spend quality time with the person you love :)